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Lionel Laurent

I've Seen the Blockchain's Future. It's Banana-Shaped

Many crypto ventures are absurd, but at least they're starting to collide with the real world.
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Photographer: Simon Dawson

Did you know it was London Blockchain Week? It has felt like an ultra-compressed Gartner Hype Cycle -- the famous curve that shows all tech goes through wildly overblown optimism and then equally exaggerated despondency before hitting a normal path.

To kick off we had a New York Times story boasting that the technology will fix the internet, displace Big Tech and solve capitalism. By the end of the week, my inbox was stuffed with the usual desperate pitches for cannabis, gambling and gaming projects backed by Bitcoin and Ethereum. From New Jerusalem to shabby reality in a few days.